There are many quality marks available to law firms, most of which can be obtained by simply completing a form.
They are usually applied for in order to remain on panels and satisfy lenders, but will any of them really have a positive effect on your business, or even your Solicitor’s PI premium?
Lexcel, the Law Society's benchmark for excellence in practice management, usually provides confidence that a firm is being well managed and, unlike more common accreditations, it demonstrates that a practice takes risk management seriously.
With only 1,537 private practice firms in England & Wales certified with the Lexcel quality mark, it remains a relatively exclusive club.
The common misconception regarding Lexcel is that a fixed discount is applied to any Solicitor’s PI policy once it has been achieved. This sadly is not the case, but what it does do is assist your broker when negotiating more competitive terms from insurers on your behalf.
In order to obtain Lexcel and indeed to retain the quality mark, firms must undergo rigorous assessments and due diligence from qualified consultants. This in turn should give underwriters' confidence that the business is performing in a risk adverse fashion.
While Lexcel does not guarantee that errors or omissions will not occur, it does demonstrate a commitment to client care and best business practice, which is an area where many claims arise.
Cost and time are usually the biggest barriers preventing law firms from applying for Lexcel, however I believe that the long term benefit to the risk profile of your business is probably worth the investment in the long run.
Both of JLT Specialty’'s partner insurers , AmTrust and Starr Companies, take the Lexcel quality mark into account when assessing their premium requirements. For a more detailed discussion on how much premium reduction this can achieve, please contact one of our Solicitors’ PI team.